500 Word Review: “Nails/Full of Hell Split EP”

nails

Recently, grindcore and powerviolence legends, Nails and Full of Hell, released a split EP together.  The split EP is the first release since Nails’ “hiatus” and is also the follow up to their amazing full length record, “You Will Never Be One Of Us”, which was released earlier this year.  Ever since this split EP was announced I have been extremely excited to hear it, despite the fact that I had never heard of Full of Hell before.  I was also especially excited to review this project since I have never reviewed a split EP before or any project from either group!  The split EP itself features one song from Nails titled, “No Longer Under Your Control”, and two songs from Full of Hell titled, “Thy Radiant Garrote Exposed” and “Bez Bolu”.  However, even before hearing a single track from the split, I was almost certain that this would be one of the best EPs I listen to this year.

If you know anything about grindcore, especially the two artists featured on this split, then you will not be surprised to see how short this split EP is.  With a total playing time of just short of 4.5 minutes, the Nails/Full of Hell split EP is one of the shortest split EPs I have ever heard and will easily be the shortest release you hear all year.  And again, if you are familiar with grindcore, then you know that the short compositions are chaotic and intense to say the least.  However, this split between Nails and Full of Hell is far more than just chaotic, it is unrelenting, brutal grindcore and powerviolence from start to finish that perfectly fits the gorgeous EP artwork.  When listening to the sole Nails track on the split EP, “No Longer Under Your Control”, it is clear that the songwriting heard is very similar to their previous album, “You Will Never Be One Of Us”, with only a few exceptions that allow the split to differ from the 2016 full length release.  For example, “No Longer Under Your Control” is slightly less aggressive than “YWNBOOU” and is also more melodic with some riffing mixed in with heavy chugging sections, that happen to be a staple for “YWNBOOU”.  The vocals, lyrics, and solo heard on “No Longer Under Your Control”, however, are practically identical to what is heard on the 2016 full length release, which is actually a good thing.  The only negative aspect heard on this Nails track is the production quality.  The production quality is muddy, and by being slightly worse than what is heard on “YWNBOOU”, it fails to correctly exemplify the brutal, raw sound that makes Nails’ music great.  However, this production quality does not take away from the fact that this track is absolutely stellar!

As I mentioned earlier, I did not know anything about Full of Hell prior to this release.  After listening to the split 7 times through I am extremely glad Full of Hell was included in this split because I have really enjoyed their two tracks on the release, “Thy Radiant Garrote Exposed” and “Bez Bolu”.  Like Nails’ sole track, these two tracks are short, fast aggressive, and hard-hitting, addictive grindcore songs.  The sludgy, overall production and tone heard on the guitar and bass tracks accompanied by perfectly mixed vocals result in two phenomenal tracks by Full of Hell.  In fact, these songs are so well written and well recorded that I actually might like these songs more than the sole Nails track heard on this split!  I plan on checking out more of Full of Hell’s discography and if the rest of their material sounds like the songs on this split then I could definitely become a fan of them!

In conclusion, this a great split by Nails and Full of Hell.  In fact, this split EP gives Nails the potential to become the first band/artist to have both an EP and an album make it onto the EPs of the Year list and the Albums of the Year list on Erik’s Album Reviews in the same year.  The aggressive, chaotic sound heard throughout the release is near perfect grindcore that is brief yet masterful, and above all, unfathomably brutal that leaves the listener feeling like they got hit by a bus. I give the Nails/Full of Hell split EP a 9.0/10 and you need to give less than 5 minutes of your time to listen to and truly experience this remarkable split EP, regardless of your opinion on grindcore and this form of extreme music.  I’ve attached the soundcloud stream of the split EP, along with where to order the 7″ vinyl, below for anyone who wants to give it a listen and I’ve also posted the original post I wrote when Nails and Full of Hell first announced the release.  We’ll have a lot more reviews to post in the upcoming weeks so make sure to check back into the site to see what we review next!

Split EP Announcement:

https://eriksalbumreviews.wordpress.com/2016/10/12/breaking-news-nails-will-release-a-split-7-with-full-of-hell-this-december/

Split EP on Vinyl:

Nails / Full Of Hell "Split"

Full Split EP Stream:

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Breaking News: Deadmau5 Releases New Album “W:/2016ALBUM/” And His Single “Ghosts N Stuff” Goes Platinum

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Yesterday, electronic music titan, Deadmau5, released his latest album, “W:/2016ALBUM/”, through his own label, mau5trap.  The 2016 record is Deadmau5′ latest full length album and release since 2014’s, “while (1<2)”.  The album was released with hardly any promotion, and practically had a surprise release, but so far Deadmau5 fans have welcomed the new release with positive feedback and reviews!  Personally, I’ve only heard a track or two off “W:/2016ALBUM/”, but what I have heard is extremely promising and leads me to believe this latest Deadmau5 project could be his best release in years!  The release features a different sound from Deadmau5 that includes a significant amount of experimentation, different from his previous releases, while also showcasing the classic synth sounds and recognizable beats that make Deadmau5′ material iconic and timeless.

In other Deadmau5 news, Deadmau5′ most successful single, “Ghost N Stuff”, recently went platinum according to RIAA.  The single, which features vocals from Rob Swire and is featured on the highly praised album, “For Lack of a Better Name”, is one of the most well known Deadmau5 tracks.  The best part of this news story, however, is that according to RIAA “Ghosts N Stuff” went platinum  on Halloween this year.  Out of all the days in the year for a track titled “Ghosts N Stuff” to go platinum, Halloween has to be the best day for the track to do so.  Regardless of the well fitting date to go platinum, “Ghosts N Stuff” is still a fantastic electronic song and the fact that it is now certified platinum is a huge accomplishment!  Congrats to Deadmau5 for the remarkable feat and hopefully more singles of his reach this notable level of success!

Even though I am crazy behind on album reviews, I definitely plan on completing the review for “W:/2016ALBUM/” in the near future.  For the meantime check out the stream of the album below and let us know what you think of the latest Deadmau5 record.  Be sure to check back in for more reviews and music content and let us know if there are any records that you want us to review in the last few weeks of 2016!

Vinyl and Cassette News: Burial’s “YOUNG DEATH / NIGHTMARKET” Accidently Gets Released Early On Vinyl

burial-2016

In case you missed it, Burial, the legendary English electronic producer and recording artist, recently released his latest project “YOUNG DEATH / NIGHTMARKET (HDB100).  The short EP, which was officially released only a few days ago, features an experimental ambient sound accompanied with reverb filled synths and multiple, altered samples that give the project an overall sound unique to Burial himself.  This new EP is very fascinating and is both relaxing and compelling, causing the listener to feel at ease yet never lose interest or focus on the material.

The release itself is stellar, and I will most likely follow up this post with an official review of the project, but the most prominent news to come from this release actually isn’t about the material, but how it was distributed.  Days before the EP was supposed to have a surprise release, it suddenly surfaced on Discogs.  Stunned, Burial fans quickly reacted to this update and wondered if this was a legitimate, new release from Burial and where they could get themselves a copy of this record.  It was soon realized that the Discogs update was made in response to a Toronto record shop, called Sonic Boom Records, accidentally selling the release early on Black Friday.  Sonic Boom Records, who received the new 12″ records by mail, assumed the new release was a Black Friday secret listing and because of this 5 copies were accidentally sold to Toronto customers.  This project, which was eventually officially released on Burial’s official Bandcamp page on November 28th, is the first solo project of 2016 by the British artist.  Once the vinyl EP was officially released it quickly sold out on Burial’s site and has since been selling extremely fast at local record shops in both North America and Europe.  There are still numerous places that have a copy left to purchase, including the 53 individual listings on Discogs selling the 12″ for as little as $8.57, however this record will definitely sell out completely eventually.

If you are an electronic music fan you need to listen to this release.  In my opinion, this will most likely be one of the best EPs you hear all year.  If you are unfamiliar with Burial this is a very good place to start, however his discography is extremely immense and filled with great material, so checking out any release from the South London based artist is highly recommended.  The link to purchase the 12” vinyl record from Discogs is attached below along with the full EP stream.  Give it a listen, check out the other electronic reviews and music content posted on this site, and be sure to visit often for more electronic, vinyl, and cassette news!

https://www.discogs.com/Burial-Young-Death-Nightmarket/release/9412422

500 Word Review: Flume “Skin Companion EP I”

flume_-_skin_companion_ep_600_600

Following his successful release of his sophomore full length album, “Skin”, which came out earlier this year, Australian EDM artist Flume is back with his latest EP “Skin Companion EP I”.  The EP, which apparently seems to be a continuation of “Skin” made up of what appears to be b-sides from the record, is a short, 4 song project that was released only a few days ago.  “Skin”, which in my opinion is an album of the year contender, saw widespread positive approval from his fan base and became Flume’s most successful release to date.  I personally was not familiar with Flume until after the release of “Skin”, but he has since become one of my favorite electronic artists and “Skin” is easily one of my favorite EDM albums of all time.  That being said I was both surprised and shocked when I recently opened my Youtube app to see new material from Flume.  “Skin” itself is a 16 track album running over an hour in length, so the fact that there is still material left over to be released is shocking to me.  However, I was still very excited to hear this latest project from Flume!

The songwriting on “Skin Companion EP I” is slightly different from “Skin”, but as the EP’s title suggests, it is still fairly similar to the sound heard on the 2016 full length.  Overall, “Skin Companion EP I” is a collection of upbeat, almost trance like songs.  The song structure for each track is eclectic with a heavy use of unique, peculiar beats and synths that is fairly similar to “Skin”, but is rather a perfect match to Flume’s signature style and the subgenre, wonky, that Flume often writes in.  Some percussion is mixed in in an odd manner, like for example what is heard throughout the track “v”, but this ultimately further compliments Flume’s signature style of electronic music.  The jittery randomness that flows well with the rhythmic beats can be, at some points, reminiscent of Blank Banshee’s material.  Honestly, despite the fact that pop influenced, high pitched female vocals are heard in nearly every track on “Skin Companion EP I”, this EP in my opinion, is actually closer to sounding like a vaportrap release than a radio friendly edm release, which is not a bad thing at all!  This collection of songs seems a little more experimental than what is heard on “Skin” and even though these tracks sound similar to the material on the 2016 full length, I can see why they are grouped together in a separate release altogether.  However, these variations heard from “Skin” are very slight and these four songs could easily have been mixed into “Skin”, and in fact, they could’ve served as trance like, calm sounding interludes or tracks that provide breathing room between the more intense songs heard on “Skin”.  This would give “Skin” even more range, from a song structure perspective, and would ultimately improve “Skin”.  Regardless, “Skin Companion EP I” is a great release on its own and is another phenomenal project from Flume.

In summation, I give “Skin Companion EP I” an 8.3/10 and I can without a doubt say that this release will be a fierce contender for the EPs of the year list!  This latest project from Flume is interesting, compelling, and extremely relaxing and enjoyable to listen to.  If you are a fan of electronic music you need to give this EP a listen.  Also, if “Skin Companion EP I” is the first installment to a list of projects associated with “Skin” to be released, which I am assuming it is, then I cannot wait to see what Flume releases next during this “Skin” era. Each of the four tracks from the album are posted below for those who want to check out the project and be sure to visit the site this week for more album reviews and music content!

“Trust”:

“v”:

“Heater”:

“Quirk”:

Album Reivew: DWELLINGS Lemonade – Single

dwellings-lemonade-single-artwork

If you know anything about the modern post-hardcore scene, you will know that northern California has produced some amazing bands in the last 10 years.  Groups like Dance Gavin Dance, Hail The Sun, Strawberry Girls, Secret Band, and Sianvar have all hailed from this region and have reshaped the sub genre of post-hardcore in an iconic way.  Dwellings, a brand new group out of Modesto, California, will be the next band to add to this legendary list.

Dwellings have only released one song so far off their debut EP, “Lavender Town”, but they have already made a significant impact on the post-hardcore community.  With a successful first single, and a second one titled “Foreverest” coming this Friday, Dwellings has seen an immense amount of growing demand, excitement, and anticipation for this debut release.  I for one am definitely included in this group of new Dwellings fans looking forward to this release and what the future holds for the California post-hardcore act.

“Lemonade” is a great first impression for Dwellings.  The track itself is able to showcase each members skill set while simultaneously being a great, catchy track overall.  Distorted, artfully crafted guitar riffs and drumming are elegantly mixed in with high pitched singing vocals, similar to a style like Donovan Melero of Hail the Sun, and harsh, screaming vocals, which feature a tone that can be compared to Jon Mess of Dance Gavin Dance.  However, I will say these familiar sounding vocal tones are directly linked to lyrics that are very different from both Hail the Sun and Dance Gavin Dance.  The most memorable part of this debut track is, without a doubt, the melodic, upbeat sound the entire song features.  This characteristic is extremely prominent from start to finish, and when focusing on certain sections, like the chorus for example, it can make the track extremely addictive!  The great emphasis and build ups to the prominent anthemic and melodic portions of the song highlights the most significant sections of the track itself and showcases Dwellings’ already amazing songwriting.

A new listener to Dwellings might notice a few similarities between them and the post-hardcore titans, Dance Gavin Dance.  While some might view these similarities as a rip off or attempt to copy DGD, I personally think they further improve Dwellings, and in some instances, when looking at these comparisons I believe it can be concluded that Dwellings does certain things better than Dance Gavin Dance.  For starters, Dwellings and Dance Gavin Dance both feature similar artwork.  If you look at the artwork for “Lavender Town” and compare it to Dance Gavin Dance’s “Downtown Battle Mountain” I and II, “Happiness”, and “Acceptance Speech” artworks, you can see multiple similarities in the style of artwork.  “Lavender Town” features an elaborate city that uses a unique style of characters that have multiple interactions throughout the artwork, which is very similar to both “Downtown Battle Mountains”.  “Lavender Town” also uses the characteristic of having a colorful display of a landscape and its inhabitants, who exemplify a lot of action and detail happening outside of the focus point and almost entirely seem to be focused on a centrally located figure, like the designs for both “Happiness” and “Acceptance Speech”.  “Lavender Town” further draws similarities by using a world of characters, much like the familiar characters and faces seen in the DGD artwork world, that I’m assuming will be featured on future Dwellings’ artworks in a similar fashion to how DGD reuses the same artistic style and depiction of characters in their own artwork, fictitious worlds.

Dwellings’ “Lavender Town”:

lavender-town

Dance Gavin Dance’s “Downtown Battle Mountain”:

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“Downtown Battle Mountain II”:

dbm-2

“Happiness”:

dance_gavin_dance_happiness

“Acceptance Speech”:

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Musical there are also numerous similarities between the two California based bands.  Personally, I believe this track sounds a lot like it was influenced from songs heard off of “Happiness” and “Acceptance Speech”.  While I think the similarities are not close enough to consider it plagiarism, I do believe its significant enough to come to the conclusion that some parts sound alike on both the single and the releases mentioned.  These two album are some of my favorite releases by DGD, so the comparison is something I thought highly of.  I personally believe that the sound generated in these two eras are some of DGD’s most memorable and successful work, and for Dwellings to take inspiration from these records shows they are on pace to accomplish great feats.  In fact, I am much more excited to hear “Lavender Town” when it is released than I was to hear new Dance Gavin Dance.  Lately, I believe Dance Gavin Dance has lacked inspiration, and because of it I believe the quality of material from the Sacramento group might decrease.  However, Dwellings has a lot to prove being a brand new band and when comparing their first single, “Lemonade”, to Dance Gavin Dance’s first single off “Mothership”, “Chucky vs. The Giant Tortoise”, “Lemonade” absolutely sounds better and has made my anticipation higher for new Dwellings than my anticipation for new Dance Gavin Dance.

In conclusion, this debut single by Dwellings is phenomenal and I give it a 9.4/10.  I believe that the new era of post-hardcore will showcase Stolas, Dwellings, Hail the Sun as the future of this genre and their impact and albums they release will reshape how we view the genre completely.  Please do not sleep on this amazing group and check out their single below!  They will release their second single ever, “Foreverest” this Friday, so be sure to check back in for a review of this next release by the soon-to-be post-hardcore giants, Dwellings!

Breaking News: Power Trip Announces New Album

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Recently, Texas based hardcore/thrash metal band, Power Trip, have announced the follow up to their iconic, most recent album, “Manifest Decimation”.  This upcoming album, titled “Nightmare Logic”, is assumed to be released in either late 2016 or early 2017.  However, what is know for sure is that the first single off the record, “Firing Squad”, will be released this Tuesday!  This record will be the first full length album by the group since 2013, and the anticipation for this new material is at an all time high, especially for massive fans of the Southern hardcore/thrash metal band like myself!

Power Trip is one of the members of a short, but paramount list of modern thrash metal based bands that I actually thoroughly enjoy.  I usually find it hard to get into any thrash metal artists, due to the fact that the metal subgenre is not a division of music that I find highly entertaining or inspiring.  However, Power Trip is so skilled in their unique mix of aggressive hardcore music and hard-hitting, in your face thrash metal that it is nearly impossible to not absolutely love their material, especially “Manifest Decimation”.  Even if you don’t particularly care for either the hardcore or thrash metal subgenres, the Power Trip discography is something you absolutely need to listen to.  I definitely recommend starting with later releases by the group, but regardless of where you start, you need to give Power Trip a chance if you haven’t yet.

Next week I will be writing a review for the first song off the upcoming 8 track album.  I highly doubt it will be anything but flawless and absolutely addicting, but I will be most interested to see how it compares to “Manifest Decimation”.  Be sure to check back in for updates about “Nightmare Logic” and check out other posts on the site about other hardcore, trash metal, and powerviolence bands!